KING OF PRUSSIA, PA and READING, United Kingdom – November 1, 2016 – Ferro Corporation (NYSE:FOE) today announced that it has acquired Electro-Science Laboratories, Inc. and a U.K.-based affiliate (collectively “ESL”), a leader in electronic packaging materials. Ferro paid $75 million, excluding customary adjustments and fees for the privately held company headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Agmet Limited, the affiliate, is based in Reading, England.
The acquisition of ESL enhances Ferro’s position in the electronic packaging materials space with complementary products, and offers an attractive platform for growth in Ferro’s Performance Colors and Glass business unit.
ESL produces thick-film pastes and ceramic tape systems that enable important functionality in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications. Its key products are used to build hybrid integrated circuits, modules and sensors that function in harsh conditions. Hybrid integrated circuits using ESL products are used in aerospace and defense applications, such as satellites. The modules and sensors are used in automobile components, including oxygen sensors. ESL products in heat sensors are used in appliances such as ovens and water heaters. ESL paste systems for heaters are used on a wide variety of substrates, including metal, ceramic and glass. ESL was founded in 1962 and has remained privately owned and associated with the founding family. The business has operations in the United States and United Kingdom and has 86 employees.
Peter Thomas, Chairman, President and CEO of Ferro Corporation, said, “This acquisition gives Ferro a more significant share of the addressable market for electronic packaging materials, and is highly synergistic within our current Ferro business. While ESL and Ferro both employ similar manufacturing processes, the product portfolios, end use applications and customers are complementary. In addition, Ferro is backward integrated into glass production, which will provide raw material synergy opportunities. ESL is aligned with our asset-light and heavy-touch operating philosophy and our commitment to adding value for our niche market customers across the globe. ESL is a recognized leader in a market that is expected to continue to grow as a result of increasing everyday use of electronics and sensors within our homes, vehicles and offices.”
“The ESL transaction — the fifth acquisition by Ferro in 2016 – is the first significant acquisition in our Performance Color and Glass segment, and we are actively reviewing other opportunities in this space,” continued Mr. Thomas. “We are making acquisitions across all of our businesses to enhance our capabilities, expand our product portfolio and drive new opportunities for growth.”
“ESL’s sale to Ferro caps more than 50 years of remarkable performance under its founding owners,” said Andrew T. Greenberg, Fairmount Partners Managing Director. “The transaction enables this business to move forward as an integral part of a market leader in performance materials.”
Fairmount Partners (www.fairmountpartners.com) served as the exclusive financial advisor to ESL and its shareholders.
About Electro-Science Laboratories, Inc.
ESL manufactures screen-printable pastes such as thick-film paste conductors, dielectrics and resistors (also known as thick-film inks, paints or coatings), ceramic tape systems, and fired parts such as porous alumina and zirconia cover plates, solid oxide fuel cell substrates, multi-electrode arrays, and both anode-supported and electrolyte-supported fuel cells. These advanced materials find application in hybrid microcircuits and multilayer microelectronics, electronic components such as inductors, capacitors and transformers, heaters on steel or other substrates, plus low and high temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC and HTCC). ESL delivers on-time, low-cost, high-reliability, stable and reproducible materials in an ISO 9001:2008 environment, scaling up from laboratory and pilot-scale quantities to high-volume production.
About Ferro Corporation
Ferro Corporation is a leading global functional coatings and color solutions company that supplies technology-based performance materials, including glass-based coatings, pigments and colors, and polishing materials. Ferro products are sold into the building and construction, automotive, appliances, electronics, household furnishings, and industrial products markets. Headquartered in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, the Company has approximately 4,900 employees globally and reported 2015 sales of $1.1 billion.
About Fairmount Partners
Fairmount Partners is one of the largest investment banking groups in the Mid-Atlantic region. The firm specializes in advising middle-market growth companies with mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and strategic advice. Fairmount has completed more than 175 transactions throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, please visit: www.fairmountpartners.com
Principals of Fairmount Partners acted as advisors to Electro-Science Laboratories, Inc. in this transaction.
Fairmount Partners is a registered Broker Dealer, member FINRA (www.finra.org) and SIPC (www.sipc.org).